Call for Proposals 2018-2019


The Center for the Critical Study of Race and Ethnicity is accepting applications for the 2018-2019 call for proposals for competitive grants, open to all faculty, staff and students. These grants are made available to support research, programming, the arts, and/or community engagement projects related to the study of race, ethnicity and social difference. Priority will be given to proposals that reflect this years’CCSRE theme:“SYZYGY.”Proposal for the fall 2018 grant cycle will be reviewed on October 5, 2018.

“SYZYGY” will serve as the overarching theme for CCSRE programming for the 2018-19 academic year along with divisional partners in science and math. The aim of this partnership is to generate an open discussion of scholarly work that undertakes critical examinations of race, ethnicity, and social difference in relationship to science and math. Events throughout the year will critically examine the complicated “SYZYGY” of race, power and science, while also celebrating the many contributions and discoveries by African American, Latinx American, Native American, and Asian American scientists and mathematicians. The concept of “syzygy” refers to the alignment or relation between different entities.  The word syzygy is derived from the ancient greek words, “syn”, meaning “with, together” and“zygoun” meaning “yoked”. Although often referring to different relational concepts or dichotomies, central to all aspects is the idea of unity. Syzygy is applied widely from commutative algebra to Russian philosophy. In astronomy, it means an alignment of celestial bodies, of which a prime example is an eclipse, while in genetics it refers to the pairing of homologous chromosomes, which are similar but not identical.

The underlying concepts of syzygy, alignment and unity, apply deeply to critical studies of race and ethnicity. Although unity may be perceived as a societal aim, it also invokes important questions of diversity, power, inclusion, and equity.

Purpose and Scope of Grants

The intent of CCSRE grant funding is to encourage and support individuals or groups in their engagement with topics relevant to the study of race, ethnicity and social difference through teaching, research, artistic expression or programming. In the spirit of intersectionality, we are particularly interested in promoting work-study that underscores the relationship between critical theory and practice (praxis) in the academy and public life.

While this call is open to all faculty, staff, and students, applications over the past two years have become increasingly competitive. Proposals that utilize critical1 theoretical frameworks, methods and approaches as well as those from first-time applicants will be given priority. This includes but is not limited to:

1. Research projects or artistic endeavors that are relevant to the theme and the study of race, ethnicity and/or social difference;
2. Programming, community engagement and performances that reflect the theme and focus on issues relevant to race and ethnicity and/or social difference;
3. Class-linked trips that directly engage issues of race, ethnicity and social difference;
4. Work groups interested in examining and improving current policy or practice; and,
5. Presentations or attendance at conferences or workshops related to the work of the Center. In keeping with our theme, priority will be given to faculty and staff who desire to attend conferences not directly related to their discipline but that intersects with their interests and connects their work to other fields of study.

Please submit your proposal at:

Amount of Grants

The total budget for awards across the 2017-2018 academic year is $8,000. Individual awards of up to $500 will be awarded to those groups or individuals whose proposals meet the eligibility criteria.

Application Guidelines

The following requirements should be carefully considered before submitting your proposal:

  1. Proposals for the 2018-2019 grant cycle will be reviewed on the following dates: October 5, 2018, and February 9, 2019.
  2. All funds must be used within the 2018-2019 budget cycle. Funds not yet spent by May 1, 2019, will be returned to the CCSRE general operating budget unless prior approval has been given to expend monies beyond that date.
  3. Connecticut College full-time tenured, tenure-track, visiting, and adjunct faculty, staff and students are all eligible to apply.
    a. Priority will be given to those who do not normally have access to other types of grant funding at the college.
    b. Each individual or group may apply for both the fall and spring calls. Individual and groups may not apply to the spring call to fund a project/ research/ program supported under the fall call.
    c. It is highly recommended that proposals be submitted as early as possible as funding is contingent upon the availability of funds.
  4. All applicants must utilize the application proposal form using the link provided below. Proposals received using any other format than the online form will not be eligible for review.


Applicants will receive two email notifications. The first email notification will confirm receipt of the proposal. The second email notification will delineate the outcome of the panel review, the award disposition and the guidelines to access funding.

Administration of Grants

Those who receive grants are expected to fulfill the following requirements:

  1. To submit a final report summarizing the project and, evaluating its impact and outcomes.
  2. To present their project at an end of the academic year event.

These reports and presentations are very important and are used to measure the overall impact of CCSRE support for the academic year. The CCSRE will also use information from these reports on their website as examples of successful grant proposals.

Contact Information

For further information, please contact CCSRE Interim Director, Nathalie Etoke at

1 In this instance, the term “critical” refers to work that seeks to confront the social, historical, and ideological forces and structures that produce and constrain social life. Critical theory is oriented toward critiquing and changing society, while traditional theory is only oriented to understanding or explaining it.